Promises, promises and BOUND

Hey, my doves. I know I said I’d do the cover reveal for my novella BOUND this week, but…well, time sort of ran away from me (at like, warp speed) and that’s not going to happen. At least not this week.

BUT!

It will happen next week. Next Saturday, May 16, 2015, the cover will be revealed. Stay tuned for a fun countdown you can  see on my new Instagram account, @thespidereen.

I’m getting excited. Are you excited?

Use the hashtag “UisforUndead” on Instagram and Twitter.

Beta Readers: Achievement Unlocked!

I survived my 30th birthday unscathed and in good spirits. So good, in fact, that in a fit of joyous creativity I finished the edits to my Viking novella, BOUND.

And now I have sent it out to the first round of beta readers. The few, the proud, the (I hope) grammatically correct! Many thanks to those that volunteered.

I am excited, and nervous, and nauseated, and probably ever so slightly panicky. But, this is the next step in the evolution of the beast. So. Wish me luck.

Also, for those that have been through this process already, if you would like to share some wisdom in the comments, please do.

This is a sign that my Viking heroes need me to continue their story. Obviously.

This is a sign that my Viking heroes need me to continue their story. Obviously.

I made it one whole year!

WordPress kindly reminded me yesterday that it was my Blogiversary. I’ve blogged for one year straight on this platform, and I must say, I am actually proud of myself.

I have managed to keep a regular schedule with only the occasional lapse. Granted, I scaled down the number of times I post in a week, but that’s okay. I have steadily increased my followers. I have made blogger friends. I have found many a resource or exciting book release through this blogging community.

It’s been a great experience.

There are some things which I set out to do at the beginning of the year that I didn’t quite complete, such as my Viking novella. I am working on the second-ish draft, in which I am incorporating my pet mythological creature, the draugar. Another thing would be my Campaign for Awesome; I haven’t achieved all the awesome I should have, but I made a good effort and I’m not giving up yet.

There are some things I came to enjoy that I never thought I would enjoy, like zombies, and the ideals of self-publishing. I even extended some in-real-life friendships with this whole blog thing. Who knew the Internet could help with real life? Crazy.

I was considering stopping the blog all together for a little while. I told myself when I started that I had to stick it out for a full year and then I was allowed to decide if I wanted to stick with it for the foreseeable future. I may still take a bit of a hiatus because of reasons, but I like this whole blog thing.

I think I’ll keep it.

The Next Big Thing

All right, my doves, I was tagged by Moonstonemaiden to do the blog chain “The Next Big Thing,” which allows you to profile your work in progress. So, here goes:

What is the working title of your book?
“Bound”

Where did the idea for the book come from?
I saw a science fiction movie called “Outlander” that involved Vikings. It’s essentially a retelling of Beowulf, in space. One day when I was bored, I wrote a scene inspired by one of the characters from the movie, Wulfric. It sort of snow-balled from there.

What genre does your book fall under?
Two, theoretically. Fantasy and historical fiction.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition of your book?
Well. I have a large cast of characters for the book, so I’ll just pick the four primary good guys.

Ingram, my lovely Viking prince and male lead, would be played by Zachary Levi. Not only is he a good fit physically–Ingram is tall and muscular and has dark hair–but I think he would be able to personify the mix of serious and silly that the character exudes.

by Gage Skidmore, 2011 San Diego ComicCon.Source http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AZachary_Levi_(5977764332).jpg

by Gage Skidmore, 2011 San Diego ComicCon.
Source http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AZachary_Levi_(5977764332).jpg

Kelda, the heroine of the story, is feisty and vulnerable at the same time. She’s lost part of her memory and requires an actress that can pull off a mix of “I can take care of myself and save all your asses” and “I have no idea who I am.” Dye Michelle Trachtenburg’s hair strawberry blonde, and it’s a perfect fit. Plus, her face looks the way I think Kelda’s would look. Oh, and here’s a better picture of Michelle I was afraid to post because of copyright stuff.

Astrid is Kelda’s mentor, a healer and slightly magical woman. Wise, kind, has an irritating tendency to be right all the time, and is loveably ornery. It was a tough call on which actress to pick. There are so many fabulous older actresses that could pull this off. But after much deliberation, I went with Helen Mirren.

by Caroline Bonarde Ucci, at the Orange British Film Academy Awards, 2007.Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AHelen_Mirren_at_the_Orange_British_Academy_Film_Awards.jpg

by Caroline Bonarde Ucci, at the Orange British Film Academy Awards, 2007.
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AHelen_Mirren_at_the_Orange_British_Academy_Film_Awards.jpg

Lothor, Ingram’s best friend and second in command, is a classic joker. Everything is funny. He’s all red hair and big smiles. But, when the going gets tough, he pulls out a battle-axe and turns into a full on berserker. The actor that jumped out as being able to portray this mix of funny and batshit crazy is Bradley Cooper. Plus, he has to be roughly the same size as Ingram, if not slightly larger. I think Bradley would look good with the red hair, don’t you?

by David Shankbone, at the Tribeca Film Festival 2009.Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABradley_Cooper_at_the_2009_Tribeca_Film_Festival.jpg

by David Shankbone, at the Tribeca Film Festival 2009.
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABradley_Cooper_at_the_2009_Tribeca_Film_Festival.jpg

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Y’all just plain nuts if you think I can sum this up in one sentence now. That comes later. For now, I’ll just throw this out: Memories come at a price, and a zombie king is waiting to make your change.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I wanted to experiment with self-publication on this book, but if at the end of editing I feel an agent might pick it up, I’ll send it our for consideration.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About three months–which is some sort of land speed record for me.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I have no clue. Maybe my future beta readers will be able to make a comparison. Speaking of which, any volunteers?

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The character of Wulfric in “Outlander.” And maybe the desire to fantasize about various actors as Vikings. Maybe.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Action! Adventure! Drinking games! And, of course, draugar, the Norse zombies. They have magical powers. And eat flesh.

Now I have to tag other people to keep this thing going. The next victims: Christina Lay, of Nutshells & Mosquito Wings and John K. Patterson at the blog of the same name. Good blogs, great writers.

Zombie cat toy

I have two rambunctious cats. Both of them have their favorite varieties of toys. The striped one likes toys that can be thrown and fit in her mouth because she likes to play fetch. The black one likes toys attached to strings and wands because she likes to chase them and do backflips in the air trying to catch them.

A few months ago, I bought them some new toys. I bought a fox with a squeaker, and a mouse attached to a string and wand with a squeaker. The striped one liked the fox–it was easy to carry and only squeaked every once in a while. She carries it all around the house. The mouse, however, squeaked every time it moved and the black cat was TERRIFIED of it.

So, being the excellent cat-mother that I am, I stomped on the mouse to kill the squeaker inside. It worked! And once she figured out it no longer squeaked, we were able to play.

When we were playing the other night, everything was great up until the point it started squeaking again. The cat ran away, and I sat in the armchair, baffled. It was dead. Now, it is undead.

It goes from being silent one moment to squeaky the next. It’s a little creepy, this zombie cat toy. *Shudder*

In other news, I managed to pull a muscle in my back yesterday. While doing laundry. No, not lifting the laundry basket or anything like that. I had the clothes on my bed, and I bent down to pick up a sock and fold it. And then I pulled a muscle. Because I’m awesome.

I hope you all had an excellent holiday! I have some funny stories to tell you later this week. Have a good Monday.